I’m frustrated. Other real estate brokers are frustrated. A lot of homebuyers are frustrated. In some parts of Seattle, making a full priced offer on a home just doesn’t get you anywhere anymore.
Let me give you a backstory: I have clients that are looking for a new home in north Seattle. They’re open to a lot of different neighborhoods, but they have wants and needs just like everyone else so over the past two months of house hunting they’ve found only four or five homes they like enough to actually pursue. And out of those four or five, they’ve so far put offers in on three of them, and lost out every time.
The first home they put an offer in on was listed at $650,000. They didn’t get it – but whoever did paid $760,000 for it – $110,000 more than list price.
The most recent home they put an offer in on went the same way – it was listed at $650,000, and it sold to someone in the range of $760,000 + (it’s still pending).
From the time I started house hunting with these particular clients, to this past week of facing another rejection, I have felt like it’s gotten worse. So I checked the stats – and yep, it’s gotten worse.
I took some of the most popular neighborhoods – Ballard, Green Lake, Fremont, Wallingford, and Phinney Ridge – and to narrow my stats down, I took a popular price point right now – homes between $600,000 and $800,000. Looking back at those homes that closed in the month of January, the average sale price was 101.8% of list price – so if a house was listed for $700,000, for instance, on average it sold at $712,600.
In February, the average sale price was 102.5% of list price – or $717,500 on that hypothetical $700,000 house. In March it crept up just a little more to 102.6% – $718,200.
Then came April. In the month of April, the average sale price in that range and in those neighborhoods was 105.3% of list price – that means that $700,000 house is now costing on average $737,100. And a scary thought here – the biggest percentage difference during April between list price and sale price was 123.3% – that would have made a $700,000 house $863,100. OUCH.
I very much wish I had a point here, but I think instead this post is meant more to vent everyone’s joint frustration on the matter. What’s my advice? Persevere, buyers. Don’t pay more for a home than what you value it at. Consider how long you intend to live there. Know that you’re not alone. Because hell, if you were alone, you wouldn’t be paying so much.
Keep on truckin’. And punch a pillow, instead of a wall.